This is an example, completely fictional, designed to illustrate how a case can be made and supported.
Outstanding In-House Security Manager/Director
- Describe the role of the security manager and the ways in which he/she has led change in the organisation including security impacts of any partnership approaches adopted with different stakeholders.
The Security Manager at the Venue is responsible for the security operation of three exhibition arenas. These are home to over 400 events a year generating approaching 1 million visitors. The Venue had been without a security manager for six months when in 2014 Ms Name was appointed and since taking up this new role has instigated a new approach to security.
Her first task was to develop a security strategy. This involved a wide ranging review which included interviews with the heads of all the operational units. Many had never seriously thought about security before and they were invited to think about security in a different way. For example, Communications staff had not fully considered the role they had to play should an evacuation be necessary, while Human Resources had not systematically defined the key roles in the organisation, such as those working with finance, where some check on any criminal background was important. With Marketing initially the head was indifferent, but it transpires that he had a major problem namely the difficulty of recruiting local people to help at events because of lone working on disparate sites late at night and they felt unsafe; there had been an attack many years back. So we worked with marketing to specify job roles in a way that made clear their security was our priority; we involved security in a new staff induction programme; and we proactively promoted security practice to all staff. Recruitment is no longer a problem; we have recruited five people this year on recommendations from current staff. Crucially, the departmental leads are all now advocates of security.
Most importantly Ms Name has made security visible. A new Vision and Mission relates security to the business (‘helping the company to make a profit’ rather than ‘protecting assets’). Five key objectives have been introduced which are supported by the Board and drive operations. They are all measurable – independently by Compliance – and all have been achieved. Mrs Name has become so successful in her work the CEO has agreed she can sell advice to other exhibition companies.
Ms Name has changed the training of security staff so now they are all trained in customer service. They became ‘go to’ people making them useful beyond their security role and in so doing they made security credible. There had only ever been one staff meeting before, and now they were held monthly, and all other departments were asked if they would be prepared to receive a visit from security bi-monthly. All agreed, and four of the 7 have asked for this to be increased to monthly because of the value security offered. Turnover reduced by 63% and finance calculated this amounted to a saving of 10% on the security budget further contributing to the company’s bottom line.
- Provide details of the value added by the security manager and his/her impact on the work of the security department highlighting the specific leadership qualities that generated any benefits noted.
A staff survey conducted by the company Internal Communication Department (completely independent of Security) in 2014 found that 52% of staff felt safe at work, and 12% felt very safe. By this year the figures were 72% safe and 21% very safe. Moreover, no-one felt very unsafe whereas approaching a third had in the previous survey. What is perhaps more important is that the CEO has decided to make security a formal department, previously it had a subsidiary status, and now security sits at the management board level with all other departmental heads.
We had had a problem with evictions from exhibitions, this was mostly due to people being drunk. So we looked at our licencing arrangements, changed the times alcohol was served, changed the ambience so it was less ‘nightclub’ and more ‘business-like’ in appearance and trained staff on managing potentially difficult situations and this was supplemented with security patrols; we ensured they were much more in evidence. The problem has been massively reduced, from 146 evictions last year, to 8 this time, and one of these was a group of 6 who should not have been admitted in the first place, that was another lesson we were able to act and advise on.
Ms Name reviewed our security contracts. We had six different suppliers for different security services at different venues. This was reduced to two. We specified our requirements and then asked security providers to say what they could do for us. Two were excellent, and we hired them. They offered a more effective deployment of personnel and technology, a better match of resource to risks (based on our own much more effective measurement instruments), and the result was a 19% saving on costs , and a much better security service. We have introduced Key Performance Indicators and in the last 9 months we have not once had a failure. We pay staff a little more, but we are paying less overall.
Ms Name has been key facilitator of change. She has a postgraduate course in security, a professional qualification in business management, bundles of enthusiasm and the ability to engage others. This has set the trend for a new way of thinking. Like all good managers she has been keen to pay tribute to a team that has worked hard in support. She has been described by colleagues in these terms:
An outstanding professional who has enabled this company to be more secure and more profitable at the same time.
George Adams, Head of Finance
A security manager who can speak the language of business in a way that embraces all departments in the collective commitment to good security that enhances business.
Sarah Jones, Head of Human Resources
A born leader who has transformed thinking about risks and threats that has united us all in a collective endeavour to better understand how we can be safer, operationally more effective all at less cost.
John Smith, CEO